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The best winter running hacks

We asked a former Olympian and a trio of ultramarathoners for their top tips

Winter is not everyone’s favourite time for running. But this year is different. And, given the circumstances, most people are out running in all conditions. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of a few winter running hacks courtesy of a number of our favourite runners including two of our own experts and ace triathlete and former Canadian Olympian Paula Findlay. 

Canadian Olympian, Paula Findlay: 
“Spikes on shoes! I got some screw-in spikes so that I could put them into my own running shoes, and that was a life saver on multiple occasions. It wasn’t so much the snow that was challenging, but the sheets of ice underneath the snow that can be dangerous!”

Ultrarunner, Stephan Meyer: 
“If running at night, try a waist light instead of a headlamp. If there is any snow blowing, you'll see much better... like using fog lights on a car.

The second tip, if you haven't tried, use wind-blocking underwear, you don't know what you are missing! Keeps a biting cold wind from ruining the run.”
 
Ultrarunner Maggie Guterl: 
“You know my girl Kari in Minnesota gave me a great tip when I asked her what to wear on a -20 day. She said it was all about layering. You don't want to sweat too much. So take your hat off on the climb and back on, on the way down. Leave the puffy for after and layer tech jackets and shirts. I personally like the convertible mittens that are gloves as well because my hands are always cold.”

Ultrarunner Niki Hurst: 
“Have your Essentials: Make sure to wear a vest with your wilderness essentials in it. It gets dark fast and conditions change quickly, you need to be prepared. 

A Packet of Warmth: One of my favourite little winter tricks is hand warmers. Stepping into the cold air is just that little bit easier if in my pocket or gloves I have a packet of warmth. Go environmentally friendly with reusable ones, like HotSnapZ reusable heat packs. With that in mind, you can also put warm water in your hydration vest, it helps with those first few bitterly cold kilometres. 

Buddy System: Slogging it out in the cold and wet conditions is much more likely to happen, and be fun, if you have a friend to go with. You can laugh at each other slipping in the snow, hold each other accountable for getting out there and it's much safer to have someone with you.”

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